The glitter, glitz and goals that come with New Year’s Eve celebrations are quickly approaching, and there are plenty of local bashes of all varieties where community members can ring in 2019.
Downtown Turlock is always a popular nightlife destination no matter what day it is, and this year two of the most popular stops along Main Street will host parties to celebrate the ball drop on Dec. 31.
At The Udder Place, guests can pay a $5 cover charge to watch the Kenny Frye Band perform country music beginning at 10 p.m.
“Kenny Frye is always a solid country band that’s high-energy,” said Mekila Smith, operations manager for both The Udder Place and the wine bar just a few doors down, The Grand Cru. “If they can’t get the crowd pumped up for the New Year, then hopefully the drinks will.”
Guests at Udder will be treated to a champagne toast out of red solo cups — fitting for the country bar that favors the “college-type,” Smith said.
“At Udder it’s definitely a younger crowd, but it’s a decent mix,” she said. “There’s a lot of energy, people line dancing and swing dancing on the dance floor. It’s just your good old country atmosphere.”
The Grand Cru’s New Year’s Eve party will cater to a “classier” crowd, Smith added, with a $10 cover charge and entertainment from the band Hawkins Road. Rather than a solo cup, guests will toast to the New Year with champagne flutes. There will also be hosted appetizers provided from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.
“Grand Cru’s atmosphere is a little more highfalutin’ and the crowd is a little bit older,” Smith said. “If you want to put on a cute cocktail dress for the New Year, go to Cru. If you want to put some boots on, go to Udder.”
Also in Turlock, the local Assyrian and Portuguese communities are hosting events that will allow the entire family to celebrate New Year’s Eve.
The Assyrian American Civic Club is throwing its annual New Year’s Eve dinner and dance party, which will feature an open bar and live entertainment from legendary singer Evin Agassi. Tickets can be purchased at the AACC office or by calling 209-668-4668 and cost $70 for members and $30 for the children of members, or $90 for non-members and $40 for their children. Doors will open at 7 p.m. Monday.
At Our Lady of the Assumption Church Hall, a 6 p.m. Mass will be held, followed by dinner and dancing. According to organizer Helder DeSousa, the Catholic church has hosted a New Year’s Eve event annually since the 1970s in an effort to provide family-friendly entertainment during the holiday.
“Nowadays, a lot of New Year’s Eve events won’t accept children, so we want to do something that’s open to the entire family,” he said. “We want to provide a place where the Catholic community can go and celebrate in a dignified way. Our parish has young couples with two-year-olds, and if we didn’t do this for them, I don’t know if there’s any other place they’d be able to go.”
Following Mass, a chicken dinner will be served at 8 p.m. and a dance floor complete with a live DJ will be open from 9 p.m. until 1 a.m. There are still tickets left, DeSousa said, which can be purchased by calling 209-620-4064. Adult tickets are $35, children ages six through 12 are $10 and children five and under are free.
Children can also jump into the New Year at Turlock’s Get Air Trampoline Park, which is hosting its “New Year’s Jumpin’ Eve” event from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Monday night. For $20, kids will receive a slice of pizza and a drink and be able to party with a DJ, all while jumping their heart out for three hours.
Down the road in Hilmar, Lola Bistro & Express is serving a four-course meal for those who want to celebrate the end of 2018, but may not be up for a night of dancing.
“Some people just want to have a nice dinner then go home and not have to deal with all of the young people shenanigans,” general manager Michael Ortiz said. “Not only is it fun for guests, but for the restaurant too because with a New Year’s Eve menu it’s an opportunity to express some flair you don’t normally get to express.”
The menu for Lola’s New Year’s Eve dinner will include an appetizer, choice of soup or salad, an entrée and dessert geared toward the “blue collar” worker rather than the frequent fine diner, Ortiz said. For the entrée, guests can choose from the Seared Bistro Steak with a balsamic demi glaze, brown sugar and bacon-roasted brussel sprouts with creamy mashed potatoes, the Sweet Soy Braised Chicken Quarter with coconut steamed rice and sautéed, local veggies or the Seared Seabass with box chow and cremini mushroom in dash broth with sweet white rice and a crispy wonton garnish.
“We want to appeal to both the people who own dairies around here and the people who work on them. In Hilmar, we found that ‘fancy’ doesn’t cater to the people who actually live here,” he said. “We want to put out good food that people enjoy and provide a memorable evening.”
Lola Bistro & Express’ New Year’s Eve dinner will be held from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Dec. 31 and is $50 per person. To book a reservation, email email@example.com or call 209-250-2777.